Building future tech with super minimal resources: In Conversation with Sriram, Co-founder DaveAi

CIE brings to our Deeptech community,
Fire Up Founder Insights series, hosted by our COO, Mr. Ramesh Loganathan. The series is brought to you as a part of Startup Gyan Blog series by CIE-IIITH  where we feature our founders and talk about their Startup status and the journey so far through conversation on specific topics useful for other Deeptech startups and the community at large.

In Conversation with Sriram, Co-Founder Dave.Ai :

Dave.Ai is India’s Virtual Sales Avatar for brands across the country that leverages an AI platform to create an intelligent digital experience while augmenting sales. The startup has won several accolades and awards, Emerge 50, Retech awards-2018 and was featured by Tech Invest forum in the 10 Most Promising Tech Startups in 2019. Started by a team of three founders who strongly believe in each other’s expertise and skill set and come from Sales, Retail and tech background.

“We were keen on doing something that we understand well”

The platform works on the customer data and use the info in real-time to personalize and showcase to build a virtual experience. Like how you would feel if you’re there.

What are the technologies being deployed?

It is a blend of four technologies – Facial Detection – which is in compliance with the upcoming GDPR and PDP, Speech & NLP – Avatar can communicate to customers over chat or voice, Photorealistic Visualizations – to render real-time virtual experience and all three put together in a Recommender System.

So, what came first, Technology or the Problem statement?

The team being proactively aware of their capabilities and convinced that they would be able to do the best in Sales, built the platform and then started building products based on problem statements.

 “We brought right business problems to the technology we built”

The Startup adheres 70% to the technology roadmap and 30% to whatever comes from Customer insights and feedbacks. Not everything that a customer has to say, could be integrated. We agree, as most of the times, if not asked the right questions, Customers do not know what they want or looking for.

How is the Elephant in the room affecting your Startup?

Apart from the cashflows in terms of delayed and pending payments, there are no significant adversities caused.

“In some way it’s a blessing in disguise”

With the Lockdown instructions and guidelines by GOI, Supermarkets or Hypermarkets are witnessing a scenario where a control is needed on who walks into the store and how much time they are spending inside. Such problem statements gave rise to DaveAI’s Store Scheduler. Similarly, the trend for Kiosks is “Going Touch-free from Touchscreen” which further empowered the Speech-enabled Avatar (‘Coz no touching!)

How to be Future-ready with the current set of resources?

“As founders we must know what our strengths are because a major course of your Startup is dependent on it” said Sriram. The Startup built its Tech layer keeping in mind the scalability and now that the team has an already built framework in place, it is easier to roll out products based on different, evolving problem statements.

Identify your set of resources comprehensively and then use them to build the business. DaveAi is strongly supported by CIE-IIITH in terms of advisory as a part of the flagship accelerator program – Avishkar.
Seeking support from your Partner ecosystem is another key mantra to be future-ready. Make sure you choose partners wisely; firstly, your partner should also have a need that you could fulfill and secondly, look at companies of your size/scale.

Keep watching this space for more under Fire Up Series.
Stay safe and sound!

– Sunita Kumari, Team CIE